Patriotism Requires Priority for U.S. Workers

The Quote Below – More Misinformation from the Media

“Yet, astonishingly, in the Trump era, we need to constantly restate the value of legal immigration, a premise central to the American narrative for most of our history. . . .Bottom of Form Long before COVID-19, the administration had slashed legal refugee admissions to 18,000 for the current fiscal year, down from 110,000 called for by President Barack Obama — and had also choked off legal asylum-seekers.

“But now the White House is using the virus as an excuse to keep out the world’s top scientific and engineering talent, suspending H-1B visas used by foreign engineers and scientists who help the United States keep its edge in cutting-edge technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI).

“’What distinguishes Trump from previous Republicans,’ I was told by Edward Alden, a top immigration expert at the Council on Foreign Relations, ‘is that the latter worried about illegal immigration, but believed legal migration was one of America’s great strengths, because it brings to us a lion’s share of the world’s best, brightest, and most ambitious.

“’This is killing the goose that laid the golden egg. If we don’t change direction as a country, this will harm us for many years to come. It is simply a self-inflicted wound.’ Of course, the administration claims its aim, in suspending H-1B  (around 85,000 yearly) is to ensure that new jobs will go to Americans when the economy rebounds.

“Not so, says Andrew Selee, president of the nonpartisan Migration Policy Institute. ‘This will have a very limited impact on the economy,’ Selee told me, because these jobs are very particular. ‘A lot of these visa holders come to take specific jobs at universities and tech firms. Everyone wants to compete for these people because they are the top talent for the entire innovation economy. These people are in demand around the world.’

Yet the president wants to keep this global talent pool out of the country, which will undermine America’s ability to compete with China. . . . — White House Attack on Legal Immigration Is an Attack on Patriotism  and the U.S. Economy, Trudy Rubin, Philadelphia Inquirer, 7/16/20 [Link]

Fact Check of Above Quote: It’s hard to understand what is “unpatriotic” about wanting to reduce legal immigration. There are plenty of good and patriotic reasons for wanting to do so, such as to promote assimilation and national unity, or to protect the wages and job opportunities of American workers. But perhaps these concerns don’t matter to people who believe that immigration is the “premise central” of American history and that nothing is more important than keeping immigration high—regardless of the consequences to most Americans. That view most definitely seems unpatriotic.

The claim that we need flood levels of H-1Bs because they are the “best and brightest” is wrong. Most are of average talent and ability, a reality well documented by Norman Matloff, a computer science professor at the University of California, Davis. To assert otherwise, Rubin cites the statement of Andrew Selee of the Migration Policy Institute (MPI), a pro-immigration think tank. Evidently Selee didn’t read a  recent publication by his own organization which conceded that H-1B visa holders aren’t necessarily the best and brightest.

The reason companies hire H-1Bs is that they can pay them less than Americans and force them to put up with working conditions that Americans wouldn’t tolerate. It simply isn’t true that they can’t find qualified Americans to do computer programming and other jobs in STEM (science, technology, engineer, math). One proof is that almost three-quarters of Americans with college degrees in STEM work in other fields. Another is that U.S. companies often replace their American workers to train their H-1B replacements before the Americans are terminated from their jobs. Obviously those doing the training are more skilled than those receiving it.

We don’t need mass immigration to innovate and prosper. We did quite well between 1924 and 1965 when we limited immigration. We have plenty of bright and talented Americans. It is patriotic to give them preference for employment.


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